tv [untitled] June 26, 2011 6:00am-6:30am PDT
people is what companies are located in silicon valley and brisbane that are not here. i would have thought they would have moved here first, but they are not here. when you look at those companies like google or hp or other silicon valley's, that is why i went down to talk to the silicon valley leadership forum. there ceo's -- their ceo's had a chance to coordinate with us. they were telling us why they would not moving to san francisco. that gave me another agenda that is not corporate welfare. what can we attract here for them? the key is education. we've got to have an intelligent work force that keeps them wanting to be here. that is the number-one thing. that is why i investing so much time in creating a strong
connection with our city college, school district. they've got to make sure we have a very integrated education system. that will be a key for many years to come. they tell us in no uncertain terms that they come here because these are the best minds. if they have marginal engineers , just being here makes those engineers better when they are interacting with better engineers in the city. they told me about that as well. i think there are many ways to attract businesses. i know that will be a key to any strategy to have a continued educated work force. >> you know better than anybody where the bodies are buried. you have been a city administrator, fraud investigator.
there been 10% cuts with another 10% contingency. all of the fat has been cut in previous years. where would you cut? where could the city save some money? >> my very first job was the whistle-blower investigator under the mayor. some people believe there is some truth to why i have accelerated in of my jobs needed because i know where all the skeletons are. i think the secret to our budget -- we are scraping to the bone. it will be a combination of evening things out. our public safety division's have to get smarter about what they're doing. this move that the chief made the of the day -- the other day
with assistant chiefs. he determined he did not need four assistant chiefs. one of the first moves he made before asking the work force to contribute was to make them deputy chiefs. that save $75,000 right there in salaries. i think there are more efficiencies to be had. this is where we get ideas even from city employees that tell me what we can do to save on workers' comp, expenses we should not be spending. some areas need to shrink in terms of the work force. we're contemplating those as well. we're still keeping our promise of having a core amount of services that the city needs to have and capital funding. there are departments -- no one is being left alone this year,
including public safety. in the past, there were public safety agencies that were hands off. maybe they gave what they thought was contributory in terms of salaries. a lot of us did even more. we actually got decreases. as of july 1, i am making $10,000 less than what i am making today. my salary will be $10,000 less. we are contributing to the pension system as of july 1. sacrifices are being made throughout the work force. people know that i have worked alongside with. i truly appreciate these efforts. i am working closely with them on the biggest challenges.
>> will it be fewer officers on the street with less money -- or less money? >> i think it will be less money. we want to have an approach that has the same number of officers. we may not be getting new classes for recruiting new ones. we still have the ability to higher across different cities. people want to come to san francisco to work. if we do have retirement spots open, we will do cross hires from other departments and other city departments. >> you are listening to the commonwealth club of california radio program. we're talking with ed lee, mayor of san francisco. speaking of the police department, one of your first moves was to hire a police chief. the head of the police union was overheard saying that he bought
the appointment. others have said he is a member of the old boys' network. was that a political choice, that the union got one of their own as chief, that they might be more amenable to renegotiating the pension and kicking back the money in sour or forgoing raises for a third consecutive year? >> none of that injured into my decision making at all. it occurred so suddenly. they were literally confirming the as the vacancy was created. i asked the very same commission that helped to select the last chief to use the same process to come up with the best group of candidates.
i reviewed it things with them about what they went through. i had concerns about whether they had open dialogue with the communities of the city, whether they had contact with all possible candidates. they did a very thoroughly vetted process. once i was satisfied with that, i proceeded to look to the recommendations they had. i interviewed each won twice. -- each one twice. focused solely on who was the best. i interviewed groups of people within the work force. they have strong opinions and wanted reflections on what the chief should be in addition to the commission.
i had various people throughout the city tell me. i got tugs on the suit jacket and everyone of these come hall meetings about people that were important to them. a lot of different names surfaced. that all came into play along with my serious look of someone who will continue reforms, making sure we have a dedicated effort to train officers so they would not cross the line. that was another part of my objective. someone i think would not only continue the reforms but present a command presence for the public as well in someone who the public can talk to. a continued to smile. it has nothing to do with politics as much as people have known chief suhr for a number of
years. the critical factors were about what people who knew him by the first name and the kids who knew this captain surh who was there supporting the boys and girls club, the ymca in the community. he did the same thing when he was captain in the mission. his reputation around the police department has been impeccable. his life has been exposed. so has mine. in my last interview, i did tell him that some people may say that you are part of the old boys' network. we have the conversation about what his life has been about. >> he said it is like me.
we had a chance to work with each other. we went back to the years when he was out of uniform and working with the puc as kind of their homeland security. i had a chance to work with greg. he thrust himself into that job so thoroughly. he began to know all of the intricacies of the water system. he knew the groups there. he interacted with the federal state authorities for that. he did a very thorough job. that kind of focus and dedication said to me that he can take care of the changes needed in the department, make the commitment, and see it through. those were the final decision makers for me, how he would continue making the change. i have said over and over that he is the guy who will change
the place from inside out. that is a very different approach. >> the city owes $4.26 billion in promised health care benefits to employees and retirees. you have your own pension reform plan and health care reform plan. there is another one that is tougher. labor groups have a third one. how do you bring these three plans -- how do you bring everybody together on that? what is their incentive to come to the table and agree on anything? >> the biggest incentive i could produce is that all of the proposals we are putting forth with the labor unions, supervisor elsbernd, and other
supervisors we have been keeping in touch with, is that we're having each of our provisions reviewed thoroughly by professional actuary folks that we know. there are third parties as well. warren helmond brought in third parties. we also have the official family of reviewers through our controller's office. there is someone else was during much a political in this. he has people on his staff and people he hired as independent contractors reviewing the actual numbers of what we can save with each proposal. with that kind of expertise, along with keeping close device from our city attorney --
getting advice from our city attorney on what is legal to do, all of that has been a part of the effort. we have been patiently sharing the information and proposals with union leaders. you will find and i trust that every union even if they are in disagreement with us will not say that they were not included in a very transparent way. this was done with serious effort. you have to reward that effort with a serious response to it. you have to pay attention. paying attention means we will do our best to get to a point where most of us will agree that this is the way out. city employees and the public
need to have this in front of them. nobody here wants to be confused with two or three proposals. you want to be able to ask the questions about whether this will solve it for the long term. we are pushing and i am pushing that this will solve the in the long term. there are certain numbers we have to be at, particularly the contributions current employees must make, including myself. >> will the salaries and pensions be cut? should they be cut? >> that is a separate part from the pension. we have to balance -- we have to have a pension system that pays for itself. we will work on the plan and presented. i predict may be to a half weeks at the most before we have something in front of the board of supervisors to get the ball rolling. salaries are always being
reviewed. we have to have the careful balance between excessive salaries and salaries that will attract the best talent, as well as salaries that provide a living wage for city workers. it is an expensive city. i get paid a lot more than others. i want to make sure that those who work for me are satisfied that they can take care of their personal business with a decent salary and pension as they put the years in. >> another reminder that you are listening to the commonwealth of california radio program. we're talking with ed lee, mayor of san francisco. you mentioned the america's cup is coming. it is coming to san francisco in 2013. it is expected to bring over $1 billion of economic benefit to the city.
in exchange for paying $55 million along the waterfront, the developers get rights and a 66-year lease at the peeriers. harvey rose the city could wind up paying more than the original deal said. is that report accurate? is this going to be a good deal long term for san francisco? >> the report has been reviewed by economists on all sides. i do think it is a great deal. it is not only for the historic nature of the event. but people are putting up their own money to help us repair dilapidated structures. one of the reasons why the port is not the maritime operation as much as it used to be is because the properties are in bad shape. it is very expensive to repair
the underwater structures. i say that as a city administrator involved in reviewing the capital plans. we have not fixed because it is too expensive. we have had to rely on private investment, smart investment, to make some of these piers turnaround. the cruise ship terminal is one of the big focuses. we're looking at building a new cruise ship terminal and having it available for the america's cup, the center of it, and being able to use it for generations thereafter. everything we're putting in the long wharf -- and along the worth will last beyond the america's cup events. we're trying to do its smartly. whether it is transportation, infrastructure investments,
we're making sure the structures are there for the benefit of san francisco. we will have it there in between the events as they occur. we are even doing street improvements with the america's cup moneys. those investments will obviously help with transporting people around when there is no event as all. >> it could be a good deal for the city long term and not just the developers. >> absolutely. those improvements will not silvio berlusconi for this event. they will be for the permanent use for everybody. >> as the economy creates more homeless folks, what more can be done to divert them off the streets and into housing and job training? >> if i could answer that easily. one of the reasons i came to work enthusiastically with the
former mayor is that i truly believe in the care not cash approach to ending homelessness. the solution is permanent supportive is in. we're already putting up the housing but not of the pace we would like because of the economy. that will continue to be the target and focus of the true answer to the challenge of homelessness>> the more you wile individuals changing their lives. in doing so, we continue to have a very active human services agency on the ground, and getting them in the shelters that we have and trying to operate programs like project homeless connect and others where we bring tremendous
amounts of volunteer support. the hope is to engage people to make better decisions. you can't force people. we have to persuade them to do so. we can at least strongly encourage people cannot lay down on the streets. we have the city and live ordnance. they are already starting to get the warnings. they are bringing people to pay attention to this. we are offering services to people. we're doing in the san francisco way, eventually we have to get people into situations like community courts where they face a choice. they have to make a better
choice for themselves. it is all about getting people to pay attention to the choices they are making. some people have to be in a position to make those choices. >> about the san francisco forty-niners. they want a new stadium. your predecessor had a bit of a falling out with them. even recently met with them, and what have they told you about what it will take to come back there. >> and they haven't told me anything more than what the public has already known. they have a very aggressive campaign that they are doing for the proposed stadium. what i have tried to do first of all is do what i think is very
natural for me. that is to form a very solid relationship and make sure that they are treated as they should be. they are a sentences the football team. they are our team. where is the enthusiasm? it should be there. you remind yourself when the giants won the world series, when they were in the dow and out, we love them. some of us didn't. we cursed them. the they are winners, everybody loves them. during these very hard times, they have suggested that they are looking elsewhere. these are the most challenging times. what i offer is keeping in your open and keeping your allegiance to the city because i am keeping
line. i have so many generations of people that want to see them succeed. having a relationship is first of all, important. and continuing the viability of our proposal so that if the nfl cells them from what we hear, it suggests maybe the economics are not there. i'm not praying for a bad situation for them, but should be economic to be there, i want to know that we have plans here for being a b plan to a 1a plan. is to have a relationship so that is not embarrassing for him to say, why don't we take
another look at what's at francisco has to offer. you not only do that by having a relationship, but by celebrating what they are doing today. they are still our team and they are still in our communities. i would like to have a welcome party. very soon. he is our coach. there are things that we have done in the past that have exhibited -- he is very excited about having one of those lunches that we used to have. get everybody together and root for the team. we might disagree with their effort, but that doesn't mean that they are not our team. >> humans and lloyd brown earlier. how often have you talked to them. >> i know them vaguely.
willie and rows of the wonderful friends for so many years. they give me great advice. i asked them a lot for the vice, especially when we have such a very serious fight with jerry brown over redevelopment. i have never intended for them at all to be a negative, because he is doing what he needs to do. >> eliminated from the state budget? >> it also hurts us in long term ways. we have used redevelopment of the correct way. the governor knows that. he knows there are other things to gain by this elimination. in that dialogue and, i have asked for a lot of device.
with all of the changing term limits, and who do we talk with? he says to be bold, talk to people you ordinarily won't talk to. and to build allegiances as mayor. for this great city, i can pick up the phone and call people and loss angeles, all of the mayor's. that was his first device. yet the 10 biggest mares together and start forming allegiance. when you put that together, you have a powerful voice of there. they listened across aisles. we have most of the populations of the states. that was one good advice.
don't form a wall even if you disagree. just because we are kind of more blue in san francisco. >> a lot more blue. >> a lot of our investors, they are republican. i was laughing about it because it was kind of this irony where the only investors that are trusted us are putting their omaha, we are trying to convince a democratic brotherhood. we are not trying to be green.
we are trying to create the economy better. you have to move towards green a lot more. >> a couple more quick questions here as we are running short on time. we have got to talk about shark fin souop. -- soup. it is a chinese delicacy, the sharks are tossed back into the water to die. you took a simi controversial stand by admitting that you have been an -- eaten shark fin
soup. explain a bit about this. >> i told the truth. you may are may not get that out of a politician. i don't eat it at all very rarely, but it is a delicacy that is used for weddings and special banquets. having said that, i am a very strong supporter of the fishing standards that the u.s. has about how you properly fish. there are reasons for those standards being created. that is where the education is, the fishing practices.